Thursday, May 22, 2008

SkyWriting: Rapid Recap Edition | by Pat

Plenty of news to catch up on, so everyone step up to the firehose and take a drink.

News: The long-rumored Notre Dame/Arizona State game has been finalized.

In the second to be announced of a series of "off-site" Fighting Irish football games, Notre Dame and Arizona State will square off on Oct. 5, 2013, at the new Dallas Cowboys stadium in Arlington, Texas.
BGS Views: We've griped about the current scheduling philosophy before and will likely continue to do so. But this game isn't one that deserves much criticism. Sure, the desire to have NBC broadcast the game requires ND to move the location outside of Pac-10 territory for TV rights rules and that isn't ideal. But the new Cowboys stadium should be a fun place to play for the players and fans (pro stadium means beer sales). Playing a game in Texas shouldn't hurt recruiting in the Lone Star State either, although don't expect too much from one game, especially given the fact the opponent isn't a local team.

News: Maurice Crum, Jr., David Grimes, and David Bruton have all been named team captains for the 2008 season.
In voting conducted Friday afternoon, Crum was selected captain of the defense, Grimes captain of the offense and Bruton captain of the special teams.
BGS Views: Congrats to the trio, especially Crum who becomes the 17th player in ND history to be a two-time captain. As noted by, Crum is the third player in a row to be a two-time captain following Brady Quinn and Travis Thomas. That streak will end this year though as all three players are out of eligibility following the season.

News: Charlie's name popped up with the whole Patriots "Spygate" situation.

BGS Views: Aside from wondering if adding the suffix "gate" to any controversial situation is merely lazy journalism or an example of the continuing evolution of language (or both?) there isn't too much to interest me in this situation. I'll spare you the 'but everyone else does it' angle and say this. The taping allegations might have a slight impact on Charlie's "Robot Genius" Offensive Coordinator rep, but I'd say the whole 'last in the nation offensively in 2007' is a far bigger black mark in that department. Besides, at this point, the focus, as far as this blog is concerned, should be on Charlie's ability to be a head coach at Notre Dame, not offensive coordinator.

News: More drama and controversy! Charlie was taped saying "To Hell with Michigan" at the Blue and Gold game breakfast.

BGS Views: Another yawn. Charlie tried to work up a pro-Notre Dame crowd with a little pep rally rhetoric. Some Michigan fans took offense as expected, but Charlie could read the evening weather report and Michigan fans could find a way to demonize him over it. And vice versa with ND fans and Rich Rodriguez. Such is (off-season) college football.

News: NCAA Football 2009 is rapidly approaching.

BGS Views: Only a certain segment of ND fans are really interested in this news. If you fall into that category, Frank over at UHND has a look at some of the ND player ratings.

News: For the second straight year, Notre Dame paid Ty Willingham more than Charlie Weis in base salary.

Weis, who will enter his fourth season at Notre Dame this year, did receive a bump from his salary reported by the school for July 1, 2005, to June 30, 2006. In that fiscal year, Weis made $565,566 in salary and $53,115 in deferred compensation and benefits, and he had an expense account of $55,100.

His compensation then was less than former coach Tyrone Willingham, and for the second straight year, Notre Dame paid Willingham more than Weis in base salary.

The school paid Willingham $650,000 from July 1, 2006, to June 30, 2007, as part of its settlement with the current University of Washington coach after Notre Dame fired him Nov. 30, 2004.

BGS Views: Much of Charlie's compensation is from sources that aren't required to be reported on this particular tax form, so he's actually no where near being paid less than Ty. Still, it makes for good internet message board outrage.

News: Charlie is now off on his trip to the Middle East.

BGS Views: We'll have a bit more on this in future posts as Charlie is writing a diary of sorts of the trip for The above linked story has the story and video of the visit of Charlie and the other coaches at their stop at Scott Air Force Base prior to flying overseas.

News: A duo of former Irish stars are moving on to new career opportunities. Chris Zorich will join the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics and Tim Brown is writing an article in on stock advice.

BGS Views: Good for them. Irish fans might recall that the Knight Commission was co-founded by Fr. Hesburgh.

News: Backup QB Evan Sharpley signs with college-player summer league baseball team.
Evan Sharpley is coming home.

The Battle Creek Bombers announced on Wednesday that Sharpley, a former Marshall star, has signed a 10-day contract to play in the Northwoods League. The Bombers expect Sharpley to sign a second 10-day deal, allowing him to play in Battle Creek for at least a couple weeks.
BGS Views: There has been some speculation that Sharpley's strong baseball season might lead Evan to skip football in 2008 in order to focus on baseball. However, this article includes mention of returning in time for football. Another article from the same paper reinforces the idea that he will indeed be back.
"I'll play as much as I can before I come back and start doing all the football stuff," Evan said. "I'm still taking summer classes, so I don't have too much free time. It's a lot of working out, hitting when I can and obviously school."
Good news for ND as Evan will provide experience and leadership off the bench and allow freshman Dayne Crist the luxury to ease into the college game.

There, that should about bring us up to speed.